New York’s Transit Systems Ban Booze As They Brace For SantaCon This Weekend

Santacon nyc subway drunk alcohol
Alcohol will be banned on New York and New Jersey transit systems during this year’s SantaCon. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North, and New Jersey Transit systems have all issued a temporary ban on alcohol this weekend as they brace for SantaCon,
the annual pub crawl where participants dress as Santa.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), which runs LIRR and Metro-North, said in its announcement that alcohol will not be allowed in its trains and stations from noon on Saturday until noon on Sunday, “to maintain orderly travel.”

MTA police officers will be patrolling Grand Central Terminal, Penn Station, and other stations, it said. They will confiscate illegal liquor, and those caught drinking can face fines up to $US50 or 30 days imprisonment.

While the MTA said SantaCon’s “focus is on spontaneity and creativity, while have a good time,” it noted that “in past years some participants have been cited as a public nuisance.”

Business Insider reporter Linette Lopez has a more straightforward argument against the annual event:

SantaCon is used as an excuse to competitively drink hard liquor the same way people drink beer on Super Bowl Sunday.

Now the rest of us New Yorkers can hide, or we can go about our business. By going about our business, though, we implicitly participate in the day. We give these drunken Santas people to torment.